English Translation of this!
Chapter XI : Concerning their Imams who lived subsequently to the followers (al-Tabi’un) Down to Our Day’
Kashf al Mahjoob (the persian treatise on Sufism) by Hazrat Ali-bin-Uthman al-Hujwiri (radi allahu tala anho) the famous Sage a.k.a Data GanjBakhsh.
Published by Maktabat al askandariya- Misr Egypt 1973 edition, Pp 302-306,
Syaduna Imam e Azam Abu Hanifa Nauman bin Thabit:
He is the Imam of Imams and the exemplar of the Sunnites. He was firmly grounded in works of mortification and devotion, and was a great authority on the principles of Tassawuf. At first he wished to go into seclusion and abandon the society of mankind, for he had made his heart free from every thought of human power and pomp. One night, however, he dreamed that he was collecting the bones of the Apostle from the tomb, and choosing some and discarding others. He awoke in terror and asked one of the pupils of Muhammad bin Sirin (رحمۃ اللہ تعالیٰ علیہ) (to interpret the dream).
This man said to him: “You will attain a high rank in knowledge of the Apostle (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم)and in preserving his ordinances (Sunnat), so that you wills ift what is genuine from what is spurious.” Another time Abu Hanifa (رضی اللہ عنہ) dreamed that the Apostle (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم)said to him: “You have been created for the purpose of reviving my ordinances.” He was the master of many Shaykhs, e.g, Ibrahim b. Adham and Fudayl b. ‘Iyad and Dawud Tai and Bishr al-Haafi.
In the reign of the Caliph Mansur a plan was formed to appoint to the office of Qazi one of the following persons: Abu Hanifa (رحمۃ اللہ تعالیٰ علیہ), Sufyan Thowri (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ), Mis’ar b. Kidam, and Shurayh. While they were journeying together to visit Mansur, who had summoned them to his presence, Abu Hanifa (رضی اللہ عنہ) said to his companions; “I will reject this office by means of a certain trick, Mis’ar will feign to be made, Sufyan will run away, and Shurayh will be made Qazi.” Sufiyan fled and embarked in a ship, imploring the captain to conceal him and save him from execution. The others were ushered into the presence of the Caliph. Mansur said to Abu Hanifa (Rd): “You must act as Qazi.” Abu Hanifa (رضی اللہ عنہ) replied: “O Commander of the Faithful, I am not an Arab, but one of their clients; and the cheifs of the Arabs will not accept my decisions.” Mansur said: “This matter has nothing to do with lineage: It demands learning, and you are the most eminent scholar of the day.” Abu Hanifa (رضی اللہ عنہ) presisted that he was unfit to hold the office. “What I have just said shows it,” he exclaimed; “for if I have spoken the truth I am disqualified, and if i have told a falsehood it is not right that a liar should be judge over Muslims, and that you should entrust him with the lives, property and the honour of your subjects.” He escaped in this way. Then Mis’ar came forward and seized the Caliph’s hand and said: “How are you, and your children, and your beasts of burden?” “Away with him,” cried Mansur, “he is mad!” Finally, Shurayh was told that he must fill the vacant office. “I am melancholic,” said he, “and light-witted,” where upon Mansur advised him to drink ptisanes and potions (asidaha-yi muwafiq u nabidhha-yi muthallath) until his intellect was fully restored. So Shurayh was made Qazi, and Abu Hanifa (rd) never spoke a word to him again. This story illustrates not only the sagacity of Abu Hanifa, but also his adherence to the path of righteousness and salvation, and his determination not to let himself be deluded by seeking popularity and worldly renown. It shows, moreover, the soundness of blame (malamat), since all these three venerable men resorted to come trick in order to avoid popularity. Very different are the doctors of the present age, who make the palaces of princes their qibla and the houses of evildoers their temple.
Once a doctor of Ghazna, who claimed to be a learned divine and a religious leader, declared it heresy to wear a patched frock (muraqqa’a). I said to him: “You do not call it heretical to wear robes of brocade, which are made for men to wear, have been begged with importunity, which is unlawful. Why, then, is it heretical to wear a lawful garment, procured from a lawful place, and purchased with lawful money? If you were not ruled by inborn conceit and by the error of your soul, you would express a more judicious opinion. Women may wear a dress of silk lawfully, but it is unlawful for men, and only permissible (mubah) for lunatics. If you acknowledge the truth of both these statements you are excused (for condemning the patched frock). God save us from lack of fairness!”
Yahya b. Muadh al-Razi (رحمتہ اللہ تعالیٰ علیہ) relates as follows: “I dreamed that i said to the Apostle (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم), ‘O Apostle of God, where shall I seek thee?’ He answered: ‘In the science of Abu Hanifa.'”
Once, when I was in Syria, I fell asleep at the tomb of Bilal (رضی اللہ عنہ)the Muezzin, and dreamed that I was at Makkah, and that the Apostle (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) came in through the gate of the Banu Shayba, tenderly clasping an old man to his bosom in the same fashion as people are wont to carry children; and that I ran to him and kissed the back of his foot, and stood marveling who the old man might be; and that the Apostle (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) was miraculously aware of my secret thought and said to me, “This is thy Imam and the Imam of thy countryman,” meaning Abu Hanifa. In consequence of this dream I have great hopes for myself and also for the people of my country. It has convinced me, moreover, that Abu Hanifa (رضی اللہ عنہ) was one of those who, having annihilated their natural qualities, continue to perform the ordinances of the sacred law, as appears from the fact that he was carried by the Apostle (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم). If he walked by himself, his attributes must have been substituent, and such a one may either miss or hit his attributes must have been non-existent while he was sustained by the living attributes of the Apostle (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم). The Apostle (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) cannot err, and it is equally impossible that one who is sustained by the Apostle (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) should fall into error.
When Dawud Ta’i had acquired learning and become a famous authority, he went to Abu Hanifa (رضی اللہ عنہ) and said to him: “What shall I do now?” Abu Hanifa (رضی اللہ عنہ) replied: “Practice what you have learned, for theory without practice is like body without a spirit,” He who is content with learning alone is not learned, and the truly learned man is not content with learning alone.
Similarly, Divine guidance (hidayat) involves self mortification (mujahadah), without which contemplation (mushahadah) is unattainable. There is no knowledge without action, since knowledge is the product of action, and is brought forth and developed and made profitable by the blessings of action. The two things cannot be divorced in any way, just as the light of the sun cannot be separated from the sun itself.